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Bill to impose $800K fine for casino violations

THE House of Representatives has approved a measure to impose a $800,000 fine for casino violations instead of the $5 million originally proposed by Rep. Edwin Propst.

The House Committee on Gaming chaired by Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero amended Propst’s House Bill 20-50, and the 20 House members accepted the committee’s recommendation and passed the bill unanimously.

The key provision of the measure stated that the commission “may, by regulation, impose civil penalties for violations of [the law] or of any regulation or order…. No penalty may exceed $800,000 and a range of lesser penalties shall be provided for minor or intermediate violations. Such regulations may specify conditions under which a person who causes any other person to commit a violation (generally or for any specified type of transaction) shall also be liable for such violation.”

In addition, the commission “may suspend, reduce, or rescind any penalty imposed…and according to any and all due process protections.”

But the bill also states that the casino commission cannot revoke the license of the casino licensee and the decision to revoke must be submitted to the Legislature for approval:

“The license shall not be suspended or revoked absent a finding of clear and convincing evidence during a hearing pursuant to 1 CMC ~ 9101 et. seq. by unanimous vote of the Commonwealth Casino Commission; provided that any decision of the commission to revoke the exclusive casino license shall be submitted to the Legislature for approval by a majority of the members of each house of the Legislature through a joint resolution. The statute of limitation shall prohibit filing of violations not decided within six months of the alleged incident or action.’’

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/104428-bill-to-impose-800k-fine-for-casino-violations

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